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Lignin and Its Applications with Polymers

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The awareness of sustainable and renewable polymeric material development enhances the possible applications and value addition to lignin. Lignin, of which more than 70 million tons per year is being generated as a residue from chemical pulp mills, is mainly being utilized as a boiler fuel. However, limited attempts have been made to derive chemical value from lignin. It is anticipated that future lignocellulosic ethanol industries will generate massive amounts of lignin. This lignin will likely be different from that produced from conventional pulp mills. Lignins are highly functionalized biomacromolecules possessing primarily alkyl-aryl ether linkages, aliphatic and aromatic hydroxyl groups and low polydispersity, which offer potential for higher value-added applications in renewable polymeric materials development. The value added applications of lignin not only helps to boost the economic viability of the bioethanol industry but also serves as a source of renewable materials. The present review highlights the lignin generated from biorefineries and reviews the reported research on the polymeric applications of lignin.
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Keywords: BIOFUEL; BIOMASS; BIOREFINERY; ETHANOL; KRAFT LIGNIN; LIGNIN; LIGNOSULFONATE; ORGANOSOLV; VALUE-ADDED USES OF LIGNIN

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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